US pork and beef exports - Mexico leads surge, Asia trails

Oct 10, 2023

August's USDA data, as reported by USMEF, depicts a contrasting tale for US pork and beef exports. Pork exports matched the previous year at 226,519 metric tons, with a 1.5% dip in value to $649.5 million. 

 Year-to-date, pork exports outpace 2022 by 11% in volume and 9% in value. Mexico's insatiable appetite is notably contributing, with other markets in the Western Hemisphere and Asia-Pacific also registering growth. 

Conversely, beef exports in August descended by 19% in volume compared to 2022, registering at 109,000 mt. The export value saw a 15% year-over-year drop, settling at $883.9 million. January through August figures revealed a volume lag of 12% and a 19% decline in value.  

The beef sector battles headwinds, especially in substantial Asian markets affected by hesitant foodservice recovery and low consumer confidence amid escalating prices and a strong US dollar. However, a silver lining appears with South Korea and Japan bouncing back after a challenging July, and a steady ascent in beef exports to Latin America. 

The pork domain experienced considerable Mexican demand, marking a 12.5% year-on-year surge to 91,297 mt, translating into a record value of $211.7 million. Other Western Hemisphere markets, like the Dominican Republic and Central America, too exhibited heightened demand, with US pork predominantly ruling the DR with a 94% market share, despite increased competition. 

On the beef frontier, exports to Mexico surged by 16% from the prior year, hitting 18,674 mt in volume. This substantial growth translated into an impressive 35% increase in value, tallying $110.9 million. Central American countries, such as Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic also displayed a growing appetite for US beef. 

In Asia, while pork made encouraging inroads in Japan and Taiwan, beef grappled with challenges. The declining strength of the yen against the dollar and potential shifts in Japanese monetary policies further cloud the beef export landscape. 

Variety meat, both pork and beef, emerged as a notable player, with diverse markets like Korea, Africa, and Peru registering significant demand. 

August’s lamb exports waned by 14% year-on-year, marking the year's lowest at 107 mt, even with a modest Caribbean uptick. 

Overall, while pork exhibits consistent growth, beef's trajectory is one of cautious optimism, with diverse markets offering both challenges and opportunities. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection
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